University of Birmingham Celebrates Partnerships with Business

Business Networking 2015

In recognition of the positive impact of University of Birmingham’s partnerships with business, Professor Sir David Eastwood, Vice-Chancellor and Principal, hosted an evening reception at his private residence to celebrate the University of Birmingham’s successful business partnerships and emphasise the University’s crucial role in supporting business growth in the region.

Now in its fourth year, the evening attracted over 150 senior business executives and entrepreneurial academics, and provided informal networking to make new introductions, build on existing partnerships, and highlight the successes of working together. The University has, for example, engaged over 600 high-growth SMEs in more than 1000 projects, partnered over 80 businesses in various KTP projects, and helped industry bid for approximately £20million collaborative funding since 2013. The University’s Business Club has also welcomed over 300 SME business members since its launch in late 2013.

The event was also an opportunity for the University to demonstrate its translational research strengths. Research themes included quantum and rail technologies, medicine, and sustainable energy. In his opening address, Sir David highlighted the considerable achievements over the past year. Among these were the Government’s announcement of an investment of £60 million in the Energy Research Accelerator, of which the University leads a consortium of six partner institutions, and The Birmingham BioHub, which formally opened in March, providing entrepreneurs and start-ups with affordable facilities and equipment.

In addition, he spoke passionately about the five-year collaboration with the renowned Royal Shakespeare Company. The partnership’s focal point will be the reinstatement of The Other Place, an iconic studio theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon which will open in 2016 to coincide with the four hundredth anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. The University will be a founding partner of the theatre, which will be one of the country’s leading centres for creative and academic exchange.

Commenting on the importance of collaboration between the University and Industry, Sir David said,

“What matters is that universities are engaged, outward-facing institutions whose work makes a significant contribution to public life and economic growth.

“The spirit of collaboration is alive and well in Birmingham and I am delighted to report that it has produced some spectacular success stories.”

During the evening visitors were treated to a display of the hydrogen powered locomotive, currently being developed by a team PhD students lead by Ivan Krastev in the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education. Last year the University was chosen along with Doncaster to be the home of the National College for High Speed Rail. The College will train the engineers responsible for building and maintaining the rail link. In doing so, it will work closely with the world-leading Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education, which is the largest group of its kind in Europe.

The networking reception celebrated a number of collaborations with industry showcasing how the University is nurturing the development of research that has commercial application. The University of Birmingham is open for business and continues to enhance its reputation as an engaged University internationally, working with global industry players. If you are interested in working with the University of Birmingham, contact our Business Engagement Team on +44 (0)121 414 8635.

For an image request and further information contact: Tim Yates, Marketing and Communications Manager, University of Birmingham, on +44 (0)121 414 8635.